Tampa Bay Rays

Major League Baseball Trade Deadline 2014: David Price, Jon Lester, And Other Thoughts On Deadline Deals

David Price (11-8, 3.11 ERA, 189 K's) joins Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer in a loaded Detroit Tigers rotation

David Price (11-8, 3.11 ERA, 189 K’s) joins Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer in a loaded Detroit Tigers rotation

July 31st is always a great day for me because I get to see players move around like someone is playing speed chess.  (more…)

Major League Baseball 2014: The Division Races and Other Second-Half Predictions Pt. 2

Mike Trout of the Angels and Robinson Cano of the Mariners make the AL West as exciting a race as ever (Harry How/Getty Images North America)

Mike Trout of the Angels and Robinson Cano of the Mariners make the 2014 AL West as exciting a race as ever to watch in the second half (Harry How/Getty Images North America)

What a second-half it is shaping up to be.

I saw the other day a statistic that said for the first time in Major League Baseball’s history four divisions are separated by no more than a game and a half. Four! So where does that put things for those contenders who are, not only fighting to avoid the Wild Card play-in game, but fighting for the opportunity to be in that playoff conversation? (more…)

Major League Baseball 2014: My Beef With The Boston Red Sox and Baseball’s Unwritten Rules

I've got an issue with Gomes and the Red Sox behavior from this past weekend

I’ve got an issue with Gomes and the Red Sox behavior from this past weekend

Every now and then I get into this phase where I need to take a step back from writing/podcasting about sports to enjoy it again. It has been a while since I wrote on this blog but it really is for the betterment of the content (at least that is what I tell myself). My apologies for the break, but I am back now and I’ve got beef with a team and a concept. (more…)

Major League Baseball 2014 Preview: American League East

Manny Machado's 2013 was cut short by injury (14 HR, 71 RBI, 51 2B, .283 BA) but at age 21 he's and the Orioles are contenders in 2014

Manny Machado’s 2013 was cut short by injury (14 HR, 71 RBI, 51 2B, .283 BA) but at age 21 he’s and the Orioles are contenders in 2014

In the American League East anything can happen.

Last season the Boston Red Sox put a dreadful 2012 behind them and rode their top ranked offense (and their bearded camaraderie) to the World Series title. With so many issues entering the season last year you would have been hard pressed to find anyone who (here included) picked them to make the playoffs let alone win their division, league, and the World Series. The team will be hard pressed to replicate that success in 2014 and I will explain why. (more…)

Ryan Dempster More Goat Than Hero

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A lack of good judgement cost the Sox last night. Dempster should hope it doesn’t have lasting consequences.

I want to point some things out that Ryan Dempster might have forgotten last night.

Your team is 8-9 in August and 15-14 since the All-Star Break. You, personally, are three games under .500 with an ERA approaching five (4.77). Most importantly your team is only one game up in an American League East that is home to the talented Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles; both of whom are eager to avoid a Wild Card fate.

This was before the Yankees took two of the three games from you over the weekend (in Fenway) and suddenly find themselves in the midst of playing their best baseball of the season (winners of seven of their last ten). 

So why on earth would you allow Alex Rodriguez to get under you skin?

For me its pretty simple: Dempster, at that moment decided he wanted to take it upon himself to get more involved in the theatrics of it all than actual baseball. I guess that’s what happens when you haven’t been involved in too many pennant races in-season in recent years. Still, as a player rep, a veteran, and a guy the Red Sox brought in for a lot of money you should know better. No matter how maddening the situation with Rodriguez is or how mush of a moral stance you decided you were going to take you did it to the detriment of your team.

These Red Sox didn’t deserve that. Not with crucial upcoming series against Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Tampa Bay, and Baltimore.

What happens if this gives the Yankees the chip on their shoulder they need to make up the 7.5 games in the division they need? What happens if they stay hot behind the motivation and erase just the six games separating them from a Wild Card spot? Sure this is all speculative, but do not forget the Yankees have one starter (Phil Hughes) who has pitched poorly, and their lineup is starting to get healthier around, well that man again.

I’ll tell you what needs to happen from this point forward. Dempster needs to pitch like a man more concerned with getting his team back to the playoffs than a man concerned with Alex Rodriguez and his exploits. His teammates had better pull him aside and let him know that it isn’t their focus this season.

And Dempster had better listen, or the story will be a lot different for him than he anticipated.

Pittsburgh Pirates Are Surging, Others Withering In The Heat Of Summer Races

The heat has been turned up on Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central

The heat has been turned up on Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central

As the races in major league baseball march on we are starting to see some teams in situations they may not have foreseen when the season began. (more…)

Major League Baseball 2013: Trade Targets For A Few Contenders As Deadline Approaches

Cliff Lee was a hot deadline commodity in 2009 and 2010, could he be dealt in 2013 as well?

Cliff Lee was a hot deadline commodity in 2009 and 2010, could he be dealt in 2013 as well?

The July 31st trade deadline is coming up and I’m going to play general manager for a few teams in contention. Baseball has been one of those games where a trade can absolutely swing a teams fortunes on a dime. (more…)

Fantasy Baseball 2013: Five Second-Half Tips To Get You Over The Hump (Or Back In The Race)

Derek Jeter could provide a boost to someones fantasy roster down the stretch

Derek Jeter could provide a boost to someones fantasy roster down the stretch

All-Star week in Major League Baseball usually means there isn’t much going on in the sports world (except the ESPY’s of course). But for some, this is the best time to set up their fantasy baseball teams for the stretch run. (more…)

2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Selection Snubs, Oddities, And Thoughts

17 home runs, 50 RBI's, .288 BA, and a .365 OBP in the first-half does not an All-Star make in 2013

17 home runs, 50 RBI’s, .288 BA, and a .365 OBP in the first-half does not an All-Star make in 2013

In 1999 the Atlanta Braves had a budding superstar in Chipper Jones. That season he hit 45 home runs with 110 RBI’s, and a .319 batting average on his way to the National League most valuable player award and a National League pennant. (more…)

Major League Baseball All-Star Game 2013: 15 (Plus One) Budding Stars That Should Make All-Star Rosters, But Might Not

Spectacular defensively and producing offensively, the Orioles have a superstar in Manny Machado

Spectacular defensively and producing offensively, the Orioles have a superstar in Manny Machado

Remember way back in April when Will Middlebrooks of the Boston Red Sox hit three home runs in a game? Everyone was ready to proclaim him the next big superstar in the American League East at third base. Even going so far as to try to convince themselves that another young star at the same position was “overrated” and “inferior” to Middlebrooks. (more…)